Mr. Church

Synopsis: "Mr. Church" tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook - Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans into fifteen years and creates a family bond that lasts forever.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Bruce Beresford
Production: Envision Media Arts
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min



Joseph Church could have been

anything he wanted to be.

He chose to cook.

The key, he said, jazz.

Mama, wake up, wake up.

Baby, baby, what is it?

There's a black man

in our kitchen cooking eggs.

Baby, that's okay.

It's Mr. Church,

our new cook.

New cook?


We never had an old cook.

You know what? Mama just

needs a tiny bit more rest.

I'll... Go introduce yourself.

I'll be there soon.

Mr. Church

used to work for Richard Cannon,

who was Mama's lover.

But he wasn't my daddy.

When Mama found out

Richard was married

she ended it,

though she still loved him.

Morning, baby.

When Richard was sick,

the last thing

he said to Mama was,

"I'll care for you

until my dying day and beyond."

Good morning, Mr. Church.

Oh, good morning, ma'am.

I guess Mr.

Church was the "beyond" part.

I see you met Charlie.

Well, not officially.

Oh, well, Charlie,

where's your manners?

Good morning, Charlotte.

My name's Mr. Church.

How are you?


Wow, this looks delicious.

Thank you, Mr. Church.

You are most welcome, ma'am.

Come on, baby. Eat up.

I want Apple Jacks.


What are Apple Jacks?

Well, it's a cereal.

It tastes like apples.

Well, and sugar, mainly.

You've never heard

of Apple Jacks?

Hey, don't be rude.

I can make the child

some Apple Jacks

if that's what she wants...

It's already made.

It comes in a box.

Add milk and you're done.

She doesn't need it.

Well, she got to eat

something, ma'am.

You have made an incredible meal.

Charlie, eat.

What is this?

You never heard of grits?

There are a lot

of secrets in my grits.


This is delicious.

You got to try some, sweetie.

Charlotte Marie Brooks, you

sit your butt down right now.

I'm going to count

to three, okay?

One... two...

Mr. Church,

excuse me.

I want cereal!

You're embarrassing me.

Why is he here?

I don't know. Because

Richard wanted it this way.

And I want Apple Jacks.


What times does he go home?

I guess when he's done.

When is he done?

When we're done.

Well, we're done.

Oh, Charlie, please.

It makes no sense.

It's what Richard wanted.

Who cares what he wanted?

He's dead.

Morning, Gibby.

Morning, dear. Charlie.

Morning, Gibby.

How are you two this morning?

We're fine.

We have a cook.

That's nice, dear.

Here, take this.

You drink coffee all day.

I eat Apple Jacks.

We don't need a cook. Well,

Richard seems to think we did.

If Richard really cared

about you,

he would have married you.

Mr. Church

won't be staying.

I'm sure he's already realized

what a mistake all this is.

Come on, Charlie.

We gotta move.

Love you.

It was

always hard to stay mad at Mama-

She was too nice,

and far too beautiful.

I was always looking,

trying to find someone

more beautiful than my mama.

But I never could.

And out of everyone

in the whole wide world,

she loved me most.

Hey, Mr. Church,

could I have a word with you?

Oh, man. I'm going to

need to go to the market.

Yeah, well, it's about all that.

Yeah, I brought some groceries

with me today, ma'am,

but no offense, all you got in

here is some condiments and stuff.

There's nothing

to spread them on.

I suppose I haven't been

to the store in a while.

Could we just hold off

on that for a second?

I wanted to wait

till Charlie was at school

before speaking with you...

Ma'am, you're shivering.

Yeah, I forgot my jacket.

It's kind of chilly out.

Maybe you want to put on

a sweater or something.

Yeah, I will. I just... 'Cause you

don't want to get sick, ma'am.

He told you.

Yes, ma'am.

What'd he say?

That you have a cancer

in your breast

and that you're dying, ma'am.

Did he tell you how long I have?

Six months, ma'am.

Mr. Church, we're talking

about my breast and dying.

You can drop

the "ma'am" stuff, okay?

Because it's Marie.

You really think

you should be smoking

in your condition, ma'am?


How'd you do

on your English test?

Hmm, I think I failed.

Good morning, Miss Samuels.

Good morning, Miss Brooks.

How are you this morning?

Oh, well, we have a cook.

He's black, he makes grits

with secrets,

and he's hanging out

in our kitchen.

So, what kind of a deal

did Richard make with you?

I was just asked to cook

for you and your child

till you passed on, ma'am.

And certainly

you're getting something

out of this.

Well, Mr. Cannon guaranteed

me a lifetime salary

if I kept my word.

Not bad.

Total financial security

in exchange

for six months of meals.

So, you got yourself a pretty

good deal, Mr. Church.

Yes, ma'am.

Come on.

Hey, Charlie.

Owen Baxter was by far

the most gorgeous

10-year-old boy

that ever breathed on this

or any other planet.

I, on the other hand,

was about the most awkward

10-year-old girl

on this or any other planet.

Come on, Owen.

What is it?

Who knows?

Look at you,

already bringing

fancy sandwiches to lunch,

Miss I Have a Cook Brooks.

Can I come see him?

I told you, he's leaving.

Probably gone already.

Oh, if you don't want him, I do.

Our private

school took a few charity oases a year.

The year I turned five,

it was me

and Poppy Samuels,

my one and only friend.

She lived with her sister

because both of her folks

were serving time in prison

for a robbery gone wrong.

And even with that,

she was more popular than me.

Tell you something, Charlie,

it's not every day

you get a cook.

Rate this script:4.0 / 1 vote

Susan McMartin

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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